This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1901 edition. Excerpt: ... lugging in of the muse to form the basis of a tragic element may be only a hidden sarcasm, but Balzac introduces it with every evidence of sincerity, and even freights it with philosophy. The effect is not attractive either as feu divin or feu d'enfer. For the rest, Massimilla Doni is relieved by some clever touches. The other two stories are from the Marana group, which includes some of the best of Balzac's short stories. Un Drame au bord de la Mer may be spoken of as an anecdote rather than a story. The climax is more important than the thread of the narrative. It easily kept place with its early companions in this group. L'Auberge Rouge may not be admired so much. It has interest; and it may be observed that as indicating the origin of Taillefer's wealth, it connects itself with the general scheme of the Comedie as few of the others do. But it is an attempt, like one or two others of Balzac's, at a style very popular in 1830, a sort of combination of humor and terror, of Sterne and Monk Lewis, which is a little doubtful in itself, which has very rarely been done well, and for which Balzac was not completely equipped. Massimilla Doni first appeared (barring an earlier fragment) in 1839 as a book with Une Fille d'Eve. In 1846 it took its place in the Comedie. It was included, in 1849, in a volume entitled Le Litre des douleurs, with Oambara, Seraphita, and Les Proscrits. Un Drame au bord de la Mer appeared nowhere except in book form with its companions of the Marana group, which was included in the fourth edition of the Etudes philosophiques, 1835-1837. But in 1843 it left them, though not permanently, and accompanied La Muse du Departement, Albert Savarus, and Facino Cane, with the title of La Justice Paternelle. L'Auberge Rouge appeared in...
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